Court Systems Paper

This is the system that protects us from chaos. We need to know more about it so that we can understand who we truly are as a people. One of the most significant court cases in recent years was the OJ Simpson trial which took place in California. This was a criminal case, involving an allegation that Simpson had killed his wife and her friend (Hunt). The difference between a criminal and a civil case is very important and is the result of burden placed on the accuser. In the criminal context, the accused must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil suit, they must only be found guilty on a balance of probability. Criminal cases are usually brought by the People, as represented by a prosecutor. This happened in the OJ Simpson trial. In this case there was a jury who found Simpson not guilty. The defence and prosecution both make their cases before the jury, trying to convince the twelve people sitting there that they are right and the other side is wrong. Some court cases are very exciting, like the OJ Simpson trial, because they involve a lot of human passions (Cotterill). In the Simpson trial, television cameras were also permitted into the courtroom to televise the proceedings. This was something that hadn’t really happened before. People get excited about the adversarial nature of the proceedings, which is something that is different than in other countries, where a more inquisitorial, or judge-directed proceeding, occurs. How did we come to have this system? In part, the courts were created by Congress and the Founding Fathers. Today, Congress has a lot of power over the system. As one site remarks: Congress has three other basic responsibilities that determine how the courts will operate. First, it decides how many judges there should be and where they will work. Second, through the confirmation process, Congress determines which of the President’s judicial nominees ultimately become federal judges. Third, Congress approves the federal courts’ budget and appropriates money for the judiciary to operate. The judiciary’s budget is a very small part — substantially less than one percent — of the entire federal budget (US Courts). There are a number of elements that go into the proper administration of justice in the United States. Indeed, there are so many elements that it is impossible to describe them all here in one place. One of the most important and preliminary issues is that of jurisdiction. Who should hear a matter and where should they hear it? If you commit a crime in another country, American courts will not concern themselves with it. They do not have jurisdiction over the matter. Likewise a court in Detroit does not care what happened in Orlando. There is also the matter of the level of the court. The Supreme Court, for example, is an appellate court and hears appeals. You cannot sue someone in the Supreme Court. Making sure that a court has jurisdiction to hear a case is a very important issue for lawyers. Making this rookie error is sure to get your case thrown out. The system exists as it is for a reason. The Constitution lays out the jurisdiction of the federal courts as follows: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority. to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls. to all Cases of admiralty and

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